We've got yet another traveler down the seemingly never ending stream of TV legends to leave us in the last few months, as Oscar winning and Emmy nominated actor Ernest Borgnine passed away on Sunday as a result of kidney failure.
Borgnine is one of those guys that you never really imagined would die any time soon, due to the fact that the man always seemed so unquestionably full of life. Ernest remained fighting fit and sharp as a tack well into his ninth decade. The man has been acting steadily for over sixty years, and gave no indication that he planned to stop any time soon. Had the cold hand of death not paid him a visit this weekend, I've no doubt that the old scrapper would have still been acting at 100.
With over 200 credits to his name, attempting to sum up Borgnine's career would be a fool's errand, but I'll touch on some of the highlights. His most well remembered role is easily that of lead character Quinton McHale on the popular 1960's sitcom McHale's Navy. The show ran for four seasons and 138 episodes, producing one spin-off series, two theatrical films featuring the original cast, and a woeful 1997 theatrical adaptation starring Tom Arnold. We certainly can't hold that last one against Borgnine though, as he only appeared in a quick cameo.
Borgnine's Oscar win came in 1955 as the unconventional leading man of the Delbert Mann film Marty. Both the film and Borgnine himself were critically lauded, pulling in multiple award nominations and wins. Borgnine would later co-star on the cult classic CBS action series Airwolf in the mid-1980's. In addition to those, he became well known to kids as the voice of Mermaid Man on Spongebob Squarepants, and picked up his first Emmy nomination at the ripe old age of 92 for his guest starring work on ER.
Ernest Borgnine's life and career are certainly things to be aspired to. He rode this train called life to the last station, never stopping to get off and rest along the way. His energy and spirit will be missed.
Ernest Borgnine, 1917-2012